From 6th April onwards, HMRC send out a pack to anyone who has had a tax credit award in the tax year which has just ended – eg 2020/21 this year. It’s really important to look carefully at the information you receive. Even if you have stopped getting tax credits, you still need to check that all your details are correct and respond if required to do so. You may get a pack which says ‘reply now’ (‘reply required’), or you may get one which says ‘check now’ (‘auto renewal’). If your pack only asks you to check, you don’t need to respond unless any of the details are wrong. It’s still important to check it carefully and let HMRC know if anything is incorrect or has changed. If your pack says ‘reply now’, then you must respond.
If you don’t receive your pack by 29th May 2021 you should get in touch with the tax credits helpline to make sure they have your correct address.
If you need to respond and you don’t renew by the 31 July 2021 deadline, your payments may eventually stop (HMRC should write to you again before this happens) and you risk being overpaid.
You can renew your claim in three different ways:
- By going online to HMRC’s manage your tax credits service. You can use this service if you have changes or corrections to report or you have been told you must reply. You’ll need a Government Gateway ID and password (you can create this if you’re using the service for the first time), be able to prove your identity, and have access to your National Insurance number and the online reference number from your renewal pack
- By sending your form back to HMRC in the post.
- By calling the tax credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 (0345 300 3909 textphone). The helpline gets very busy in the run up to the 31 July deadline so you should do this as soon as possible after receiving your pack.
If you have had to claim Universal Credit and you were previously getting tax credits, you may have to finalise your tax credit award before the end of the tax year. HMRC will write to you if you need to do this.